Helpful reparation/training information for a successfull Cannonball ride
STP is not an adequate training ride or gauge of success for Cannonball. RAMROD is a better test, especially on a hot day. The best preparation includes long rides in Eastern Washington heat, preferably with a tough climb or two in them. The mileage base necessary for finishing Cannonball will vary from individual to individual, but something in the 250-to-300 range per week by mid June will probably be adequate. With any ride, even a five-mile time trial, the important thing is that you ride your ride, not that of someone who is at a level beyond yours. On a blazingly hot day you will need to take every opportunity to drink water. If you wait until you are thirsty, you may be too late. If you start to fall asleep at the handlebars, you are heading toward heat stroke. Get off the bike and find some shade!
The QUACC devised a 200 mile Cannonball training ride in eastern Washington, which, as an RCC ride, was called the "I hate the rain double century". Start at the Hydro Park on the Columbia River on State Route 28, a couple of miles south of East Wenatchee (this is a very pleasant county park on the river bank). Follow State Route 28 south past the Rock Island Dam; climb the Quincy Grade out of the Columbia Gorge. There is a good rest area at the top of the climb. Pass through Quincy. Left at the intersection with State Route 283. Pass through Ephrata. Left at the intersection with State Route 17, just south of Soap Lake. Follow State Route 17 through Soap Lake and up the Grand Coulee. There is a rest area along Lake Lenore, and Sun Lakes State Park is a few miles beyond that. Left at the intersection with US Highway 2. Climb for 2 miles before taking a right turn, keeping on State Route 17. Continue climbing as SR 17 heads due north. The following 40 miles of road are without any services (and virtually no inhabitants). Continue on State Route 17 as it commences a long downhill to the Columbia River at Bridgeport. Cross the Columbia River at Bridgeport, still on SR 17. Continue to the intersection with US 97. Take US 97 south along the Columbia, through Brewster and Pateros. Stay on US 97 when the road branches near Chelan (Do not take "ALT 97", which climbs to Chelan). Cross the Columbia River on US 97 (older maps will call this road State Route 151). There is a county park on the Columbia in the town of Orondo. Intersect with US 2 about a mile south of the park. Take US 2 south. Stay straight at the intersection with State Route 28 (where US 2 takes a right). Follow SR 28 though East Wenatchee to the county park where the ride started.